DPM Wong confident ramped-up supply, cooling measures will stabilise property market

SINGAPORE – By increasing the supply of public housing and moderating demand with two rounds of cooling measures, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is confident the property market will be stabilised.

Addressing a question on why housing prices are increasing here amid a time of slowing growth and rising mortgage rates, Mr Wong said the root of the problem is a supply issue. The Government will have to address it by increasing supply in the housing market, which is already happening, he added.

He noted that before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the housing market – both public and private – was relatively stable, and resale prices on the public market had been decreasing for six consecutive years, from 2013 to 2019.

Mr Wong was speaking at a roundtable discussion on the Budget on Monday, organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times and sponsored by UOB.

The pandemic disrupted the completion of projects in both the public and private sectors, impacting supply.

Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, said: “In the past, when we had a crisis, supply gets impacted, demand also comes down. This time around, demand didn’t come down, demand stayed very strong.”

One of the reasons for the buoyed demand was that when supply was impacted, the queues for Build-To-Order flats became longer and Singaporeans got anxious, said Mr Wong.

He added: “The psychology is ‘If I have to wait six years instead of four years for my BTO flat, I better join the queue now. I better apply earlier’. 

“So more came forward, and then those who couldn’t get their flats on time decided to go to the resale market, and that pushed up prices on the resale market.”

For the private property market, demand was affected by changing norms because people wanted more

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